Rising gas prices are changing driving habits
Gas prices have been on the rise for the last few months, the spike in energy prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has stirred fears about oil and natural gas availability, according to CNBC.
Though Joe Biden just announced that the U.S. will “release 1 million barrels of oil per day from its strategic reserves to help cut gas prices and fight inflation across the country,” many were still reeling from the price tag at the pump over the last few weeks, with the exception being those who drive energy-efficient cars.
I spoke with students and teachers about how gas prices have affected their driving.
Senior Joseph Barboza drives a 2018 Toyota Camry that he says has “pretty good” gas mileage.
“I don’t have to go to the gas station too often, but when I do I just fill up my tank completely,” he said. “Recently, I noticed that the gas prices were a lot higher. I had to pay almost $50 just to fill up.”
English department head Sara Barber-Just drives a 2013 Toyota Prius, and she is glad to have a fuel-efficient car right now. “I get 40 to 50 miles per gallon right now, a little bit less because I still have my snow tires on my car,” she said. “And I also do slow country road driving from Leverett, so I’m rarely on the highway.”
Since she lives five miles from school, she drives 10 miles a day on average, 50 a week, 200 a month. “I often use my car on the weekends if we go out to dinner or run local errands,” she said, “but it can take me between five and six weeks to need to fill my gas tank.”
Her most recent fill cost $43. “It’s going to hurt someone else with a different car more than it does me,” she said. “I’m really glad that I have a Prius. More people should get a Prius!”
My step-dad, Keith Markland drives the opposite, a diesel Ford F-350 truck. He said a quarter tank normally costs over $100. “If I was driving normally back and forth to work, it would cost me at least $300 a week.”
As a result, he is now using a company vehicle so “I don’t have to drive as much.”